By Linda Porter Carlyle
MacKenzie Isabelle Evans and Joseph Anderson Donetti gazed hopefully at G.M.’s face.
G.M. stared out the window as she chewed thoughtfully. She took another bite of bread and chewed some more.
Joseph and Mac looked at each other. They looked back at G.M. Mac couldn’t wait another second. “Do you like it?” she asked anxiously.
G.M.’s eyes twinkled. “I think it’s probably the best bread ever!” she pronounced.
Joseph laughed. “That’s what Mac’s mom said! She said every batch of fresh homemade bread is probably the best bread ever!”
“Do you want to buy some?” Mac interrupted. “It’s missionary bread, you know. Mrs. Woodson is going to Mexico on a mission trip, and she doesn’t have much money to pay for going. And I wanted to help her, and I didn’t have any money to give her, so I’m making bread and selling it. The money is all for Mrs. Woodson. Will you buy some?”
“I certainly will,” G.M. answered. She held up two fingers. “Two loaves.”
“Whoopee!” Mac hollered. She bounced up and down. “That means I have $6.00 already!” She turned to Joseph. “Do you want to help me make more bread tomorrow after I get home from school?”
“Sure,” Joseph said. “It’s fun! And we will make the best bread ever tomorrow!”
“I’ll go home and get your loaves,” Mac said to G.M. “I’ll be right back!” She banged out the kitchen door.
G.M. took another bite from the slice in her hand. “It really is very good bread!” she told Joseph. “I’m proud of you.”
Joseph sat down at the table. “I wish I could go on a mission trip like Mrs. Woodson,” he said.
G.M. smiled at him. “That would be wonderful,” she said. “You won’t have to be much older either. There are lots of opportunities to go on one-week or two-week mission trips in the summertime. I have friends who have gone to Mexico to build churches and orphanages. And I have friends who have gone to Mexico to hold Vacation Bible School for the children. My dentist even goes to Mexico every year to work on the teeth of very poor people—some of them have never been to a dentist ever in their whole life.”
“How old do I have to be?” Joseph asked. He heard Mac on the porch, and he jumped up to open the door for her. “How old do I have to be?” he asked G.M. again as Mac came in carrying the bread.
“How old do you have to be to do what?” Mac asked. She set the two loaves on the counter. “You probably have to be really old,” she went on, “because every time I ask my mom how old I have to be to be able to do something, she says I have to wait years and years!”
G.M. laughed. “Joseph wants to know how old he has to be before he can go on a mission trip. He’ll have to be a little bit older, but I was about to remind him that he can be a missionary without ever leaving home. Sometimes that’s easy to forget.”
“But it would be so much more exciting to go someplace really far away,” Mac said dreamily. “Someplace you have to go to on an airplane. Someplace in a jungle where you would sleep in a hut, and walk on trails for miles and miles, and learn another language, and eat strange food.”
“Well, you will have to wait a few years before you go to the jungles,” G.M. replied. “Maybe you should explore some of the missionary possibilities you can work at sooner.”
“Like what?” Joseph asked.
“Like helping out with Vacation Bible School at our church. That would be just as important as helping with a Vacation Bible School in Mexico,” G.M. answered. “Jacksonville is a mission field too. Wherever a person finds himself is a mission field. There are lots and lots of people everywhere who have not given their lives to Jesus.”
“What could we do?” Mac asked.
“You’re already doing missionary work by helping Mrs. Woodson pay for her trip to Mexico,” G.M. reminded her.
“But what else could we do?” Mac insisted. “What other kind of missionary work could we do right now?”
G.M. thought for a moment. “When Jesus was here on earth, He blessed people, and He met their needs,” G.M. began. “You could look for ways to bless people in Jesus’ name. For example, I have a friend who gave out free bottles of cold water to people at the Fourth of July celebration last year,” she said. “That could seem like a really little thing, but Jesus even talked about the importance of giving away a cup of cold water.”
“I want to do that,” Joseph said. “I want to do some missionary work now. Will you help me think of something I can do?” he asked.
“Me too!” Mac jumped in. “Maybe we can talk to all the kids at Sabbath School this week, and we can all do something together. That would be fun! But I don’t have any ideas yet.”
“Well, you can always ask for help,” G.M. said, opening the refrigerator and peering in. “I am absolutely positive that the Lord will help you think of exactly the right missionary project if you ask Him. He knows just the people He would like to bless through you.”
“That’s kind of exciting!” Mac exclaimed. She turned to Joseph. “We have to finish our first project though,” she said. “We need to think of people who might want to buy our missionary bread. Maybe Mom will drive us to their houses, and they can taste our sample bread this afternoon. I’m sure Pastor Chuck will want to buy some!”
A good book to read to find out some things you can do together with your Sabbath School to help people is Hands-On Service Ideas for Children’s Ministry. Published by Group, Loveland, Colorado, 1998, <www.grouppublishing.com>.